The RIC Good Wood Guide
Choice of Materials for Sustainable
(See also Ways to Make Your Home or Workplace
More Energy-efficient, below)
Some Suggestions for a New Approach to Timber Use:
- Think about whether you really need to use new timber
- - Would a secondhand material suffice?
- - The common practice of ordering full lengths and then cutting them
up into small pieces makes no environmental sense at all.
- - Put them aside and use them on the next job.
- - Particularly if the surface is going to be painted or otherwise hidden.
- Do not ask for blemish-free timber (clear-grade) and do not insist
on stringent colour-matching specifications
- - This leads to increased wastage and downgrading of timber to lower-value
- - It will not only be just as effective, more individual and visually
interesting, it will also be cheaper!
- Use jointed timbers, whenever possible
- - Timber can be joined on its ends by finger-joints and metal nail-plates,
or on its width, by glue-laminating.
- - They also use less timber in acquiring their strength than clear
grade timber beams.
- Buy timber from (smaller) sawmillers who can demonstrate a commitment
to optimising wood-recovery during milling
- - ie, by radial sawing, band-sawing, laser
sawing, portable milling, etc.
Ways to Make Your Home or Workplace
- Construct an entry 'airlock'.
- Create doorways between living/working areas, and sleeping/washing
areas, etc - so only the living space is heated.
- Place a maximum number of windows on the north side of the building
- minimise glassed areas on other sides.
- Create passive heat storage - place thermal mass elements in sunny
spaces (eg, masonry or water).
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